Description - Chimpanzee Cultures by Richard Wrangham
A chimpanzee in one place smashes nuts to get the meat. Elsewhere his counterpart pays the same kind of nut no heed. The first chimp's mate is aggressive; the other's not at all. The first uses a certain kind of signal; the second, another. Why the difference? Are these adaptive behaviours, serving a particular need, or do chimpanzees have local traditions handed down through generations - something akin to culture? Bringing together studies of behavioural variation within and among chimpanzees and bonobos - the sibling species of the genus "Pan" - this book provides the basis for answering such questions. In "Chimpanzee Cultures", authorities on chimpanzees and bonobos chronicle the animals' behaviours from one study site to the next, in both captive and wild groups, in laboratory and field settings. These contributors offer a thorough documentation of the remarkable variety of behaviours in these species so tantalizingly close to our own.
While demonstrating that both nature and culture play important roles in the evolution of the "Pan" species, this book affords often astonishing insights into the workings of the individual chimpanzee mind and of chimpanzee and bonobo social groups. It is clear that individual chimpanzees and bonobos can, in some very real sense, understand and communicate with us in our own linguistic systems. We can struggle to fathom their systems of communication, their modes of interacting with the environment, their ways of resolving conflict, and their ability to sustain a stable relationship with the world around them. But what if, by our action or inaction they become extinct? If we are to write much more of our own story, we must launch a co-authorship with our closest primate relatives. These animals have much yet to teach us, and we have much yet to do to ensure that they survive in all their diversity.
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(243mm x 195mm x mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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